Retailers hoping Easter will increase consumer spending

The National Retail Federation expects total Easter spending to reach 16.4 billion dollars

(CNN) – At this Target store in Washington, there’s little hunting to be done for Easter items right now. But closer to this weekend, “As the days get closer to Easter, it’ll start dwindling down. Sometimes we’ll have only one aisle of candy and things left and we have to consolidate,” said Mary Simms.

The National Retail Federation expects total Easter spending to reach 16.4 billion dollars, 140 dollars and 62 cents on average, about three dollars more than last year.  As Americans spend the Sunday with family and friends, it’s expected they’ll spend the bulk of that money, 5.3 billion dollars overall on food for an Easter brunch or dinner.

All of those bunnies and jelly beans do add up, to about 2.2 billion dollars spent on Easter candy.  Stores are hoping Easter hits a sweet spot. Americans are spending less on fuel, but that hasn’t really translated to more spending elsewhere.

Numbers from the government this week showed just a .1 percent increase in consumer spending in February, after two months of small declines.

It’s coincided with a increase in consumers’ savings rate, but also with a miserable winter. Retailers expect an estimated two-point nine billion dollars on apparel during Easter, perhaps the change in seasons getting shoppers warmed up.

Copyright CNN 2015

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